The Board of Supervisor's Public Safety Committee, consisting of Supervisor Malia Cohen, Ross Mirakarimi and David Campos (photo), will meet tomorrow, Thursday February 17th, City Hall room 250.
This is an important meeting because they probably will vote on whether or not to pass proposed legislation for changes in the Transportation Code on to the Board of Supervisors.
The legislation is primary aimed at making illegal taxi and limo enforcement easier and more effective. But it also makes it a misdemeanor for doormen and others to solicit tips. In addition, it will allow Taxi Services to hire more enforcement personnel.
City official have been talking about stopping these illegal practices for the 25 years that I've been in the cab business. But this legislation, drawn up by Director Chris Hayashi of Taxi Services, could actually lead to realistic enforcement.
At the last Public Safety Committee meeting, however, the supervisors appeared to be more interested in discussing how to improve services in the neighborhoods. Well ... this has also been a problem for the 25 years I've been in the business. But it's a different subject.
It's apples and oranges. Letting illegal limos and taxis run rampant isn't going to improve cab service in the neighborhoods. The illegal vehicles rarely go there.
The proposed changes in the Transportation Code are part a multifaceted plan by Director Hayashi to reform the taxi business in San Francisco. She has several ideas on how to improve service but - it's a different subject.
If the legislation is voted down, it might be another 25 years before somebody tries to take on the illegal limos and taxis in this city again.
To repeat: the Public safety Committee meets tmw in room 250 of City Hall at 10:30 am. The item is number 9 on the agenda but these meeting tend to move quickly.
The proposed legislation reads as follows:
[Transportation Code, Police Code - Motor Vehicles for Hire and Enforcing Parking Laws] Sponsor: Chiu Ordinance amending Article 3 of Division I of the San Francisco Transportation Code to allow certain Municipal Transportation Agency employees to enforce specified parking laws and order removal of vehicles, and amending Article 7 of Division I of the Transportation Code to make it a misdemeanor to operate a taxi, a dispatch service, or a color scheme, or to drive a motor vehicle for hire, without a permit, to solicit or accept payment for referral of passengers to a motor vehicle for hire, to solicit or accept payment for motor vehicle for hire shifts, assignments or dispatch calls, to knowingly make false or misleading representations in connection with application for, renewal of, possible revocation of, or operation of a vehicle pursuant to a permit issued under Article 1100 of the San Francisco Transportation Code, to refuse to pay the legal fare to a driver of a motor vehicle for hire, and to charge excessive rates for transport in a motor vehicle for hire; and amending the San Francisco Police Code by deleting Sections 1078, 1089, 1105, 1110, 1132, 1135, and 1145.